If you’re gearing up for a new soccer season, tired of the same old fitness drills, but ready to get back into shape… we’ve got you covered with 5 more fitness drills we love and love to hate.

1. Full Field Figure 8s (Pyramid Style)

So in our last blog, we outlined a figure 8 drill that alternates sprinting and jogging between distance markers. This version though is all about timed sprint-jogs rather than distance. You can thank IDA’s own 5x world record holder, Coach Deena, for this one!

To get going, you should add cones or flags around the pitch to create a figure 8. This can be a more “boxy” style 8 that goes across midfield, or it can be an 8 with two long diagonal sprints that connect opposite corner flags. Your choice. 

Once your course is set up, and your timer is ready, you can follow the following pattern of sprinting and jogging for the amount of time listed below. You’ll notice that the sprint and jog times increase until you’re sprinting 4 mins (might be more of a fast jog by then!), and jogging 2 mins, and then it drops back down to shorter increments. Total time = 30 minutes.

  • 1 min sprint
  • 30 sec jog
  • 2 min sprint
  • 1 min jog
  • 3 min sprint
  • 1:30 jog
  • 4 mins sprint
  • 2 min jog
  • 4 mins sprint
  • 2 min jog
  • 3 mins sprint
  • 1.30 jog
  • 2 mins sprint
  • 1 min jog
  • 1 min sprint
  • 30 secs jog

Related: shop the IDA Spirit indoor court shoe for training in comfort


2. Nicola’s Runners Drill (still great for all sports!) 

We don’t just preach fitness drills… we live it! This specific sequence was provided by Nicola Pollard of the IDA Team, who also happens to compete at elite level for GB age-group Aquathlon AND runs Peak Fitness and Training in the UK (yes, she is as badass as you suspect!) Ok, so here it is… 

  1. Run 1 minute
  2. Perform each drill below for 30 seconds each
    1. Sideways running – think side shuffle between two markers ~ 5 yards apart
    2. Run in place with heel flicks 
    3. Run in place with high knees
    4. Pull throughs (video)
    5. Run in place – just normal form this time
    6. Quick feet – stay light on your toes! 
    7. Skipping – between two markers 
    8. High knees arm drives (video)
    9. High knees, arm drives into run (video)
    10. Foot drag (video)
  3. Repeat this sequence 4 times

If you want to take it up a notch to “badass level”, you can add a 1 minute run between EVERY 30sec drill, and increase your running pace as you go along. 

3. Nicola’s Pitchside Core Work 

Regardless of sport or activity, the importance of a strong and stable core can’t be overstated. Here’s a collection of drills to work into a daily or weekly routine. Good luck 😅

  • 15x Mountain Climbers
  • 15x left knee to left elbow planks
  • 15x right knee to right elbow planks
  • 15x elbow plank to extended plank
  • 1 min hold elbow plank 
  • 1 min hold extended plank (video
  • 15x side planks with side leg raises, both sides
  • 15x dead bugs (video)
  • 15x back extensions
  • 15x side plank with hip drops, both sides
  • 15x side planks with top arm reach under body, both sides (video
  • 15x plank jacks (video)
  • 15x push ups, keeping elbows close to your ribs
  • 15x plank bodysaw (video

4. Fartlek Team Runs 

Fartlek is Swedish for "speed play" and there are many variations on this type of running drill. You might even be familiar with this variation but call it something different.

If you're getting ready for a new season and have teammates to join you, give this one a go! It's great for a team building cardio drill as you are continually running yet adopting different paces! Here's how...

  • While using the perimeter lines of the pitch, line up in a long, forward-facing line, about an arm's length apart. The first person will set the pace for the whole line and the group continuously runs in Heart Rate zone 2-3, or whatever pace of the players fitness level at the front.
  • On the whistle, the person from the very back of the line has to sprint all of the way to the front to take the lead and set the pace. On the next whistle, the back person sprints to the front
  • Repeat until the very first person is back to the front of the line. 

5. 30-30-30s

This one comes from New Zealand soccer player, Katie Rood. A quick way to remember it is 30 meters, 30 seconds, 30 minutes. To perform this running exercise, do the following…  

  1. Set up cones or markers 30m apart
  2. Run there and back TWICE within 30 seconds.
  3. Rest of 30 seconds
  4. Run this 10 times in 10 minutes
  5. Run the 10 minute set 3 times… for a total of 30 minutes

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Need even more ideas? Check out the original 5 of the Best Fitness Drills For Soccer We Love to Hate. Or if you’re a goalkeeper looking to avoid field player fitness (we know you are), check out 5 Goalkeeper Fitness Drills.

Whether you perform these drills on a grass field or a hard court, make sure you’re supporting your biomechanics with IDA’s outdoor cleats or indoor shoes, designed specifically for female athletes.

And good luck out there! 

You got this. 

We got you.